Asus Transformer Book Windows 8 hybrid tablet/laptop pops up for pre-order for $1,480

Asus Transformer Book Windows 8 hybrid tablet/laptop pops up for pre-order for $1,480

Summary: The 13.3-inch convertible boasts some impressive specs, along with an impressive price tag.


We've been waiting a long time for the Asus Transformer Book -- my ZDNet colleague Adrian Kingsley-Hughes was writing about it last June -- but it looks like the Windows 8 convertible notebook is almost here. It's finally shown up for pre-order at MacMall for a cool $1,479.99.

Why so much? The Transformer Book offers some good specs to go along with the ability to switch between laptop and tablet modes. You get a 13.3-inch touchscreen with 1,920x1,080 resolution (full 1080p HD), along with an Intel Core i7-3517U processor, 4GB of RAM, a 500GB hard drive, and a 128GB solid state drive. Of course, you also get a full version of Windows 8 as well as a backlit keyboard that detaches to let you switch between computing modes.

Asus will argue that it's cheaper to purchase the Transformer Book than to buy a separate Windows 8 tablet and laptop, but I'm guessing it's going to have to work pretty hard to convince buyers of that value proposition given the sticker shock many will feel over that price tag. While its specs aren't nearly as impressive, Microsoft's own Surface Pro tablet with an optional Type Cover provides the same flexibility for a couple hundred dollars less and in a more convenient tablet form factor. There's supposedly a Core i5 flavor of the Transformer Book due at some point, so that may shave a few bucks off the cost.

Is the Asus Transformer Book the Windows 8 portable you've been looking for? Or is the price too high compared to the alternatives? Let us know in the Talkback section below.

[Via Liliputing via Ultrabook News]

Topics: Tablets, Laptops, Windows 8

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  • If I had it...

    I would absolutely buy one of these. I have used one of the eee convertibles that run windows with the swiveling screen and loved it. All of the hardware I have ever purchased from Asus has been top quality. Also, it all ran perfectly long after the warranty expired. Not dead or malfunctioning after 3 years.
  • $1,480!!?

    If vendors want to attract consumers to their products, they need to get over their infatuation with ridiculously high prices. The days of spending over $1,000 for a portable device are over. All that expensive devices like this do is drive people to buy an iPad or some other cheaper device.
    • The price is high, but this isn't aimed at consumers.

      This model looks aimed at someone looking for a high performance ultrabook or MacBook Air13. For that segment this model looks competitive in terms of power, but it also doubles as a tablet for when that is needed.

      For consumers, something like the Asus Vivotab Smart is what you are looking at.
      $499: Windows8, 64GB, 1.8ghz 2core Atom x86 processor, 10.1 inch touchscreen, 10 hour battery, etc.

      That really hits the sweet spot of consumer and work in a mobile tablet with long battery life
      • Exactly correct

        This is not aimed at iPad or Android tablet buyers. When I worked for companies that let me pick my machine, this would definitely be in contention. It would be convenient to carry to meetings as a tablet to take notes and it could be used as a development machine.

        For personal use, I bought an HP Envy x2 which is a great device to take the place of my tablet and personal notebook (I paid $675 and it comes with keyboard dock). The Clover Trail Atom processor is under powered for heavy tasks but it isn't the slouch that reviewers try to make it out to be as many of them are comparing to notebooks with much higher specs and prices. You have to keep in mind that reviewers are also regularly using newer i7 notebooks where most people are upgrading from other tablets and notebooks that are several years old. If I didn't have a powerful desktop, I would think this thing is blazing fast.

        The reality is that the Atom tablets are much more powerful than high end ARM devices and run full x86 Windows with incredible battery life. If I need heavy lifting, I use my desktop.
        • Yeah,

          I have a Vivotab 810, which is the same as the Envy x2, and I'm pleased with its performance. The reviewers do not appreciate that the z2760 processor a decent machine, that makes for a thin, light and cool running tablet with fantastic batter life. The Transformer Book looks great, maybe the best high end tablet to date, but I would hold out to see what some of the new Atom chips do. Supposedly there is a quad core Atom chip that will be coming out soon. Right now, I would say that the Transformer Book looks like the best high end tablet you can get, but the down side of the core i5/i7 chip is that it will run hot, require a fan, and have less than half the battery life as an Atom chip.
          Bobby Salvin
    • pricing tablet/laptops with Windows 8

      See my comments below. By comparison with Lenovo and Dell offerings, ASUS is competitive
      Pat McKnight
  • For $999

    For $999 this might be a nice machine. For $1400+, not so much.

    Part of the issue is that you can get a 13" Windows touch screen enabled laptop for about that, and it's not entirely clear that tablets larger than 10" or so make much sense.
    • Some people want bigger tablets

      There was a time when companies thought all phones should be 3.5 inches and tablets could only be 10 inches.

      Now phones come in every size imaginable and tablets are starting to offer greater range of choices in sizes.

      13 inches may not be ideal for most people, but for some it will be a perfect fit.

      The price and size seem to make this a very narrow product in terms of who it is aimed at. I don't suspect it will break any sales records.
      • Mobile Warrior

        I do a lot of work from the road. I have to have a bigger machine to handle the work (bigger screen, room for all my files, flexible, etc.). This screen size makes a tablet a possible alternative (still want a 15"+). The processor seals the deal.

        Since I spent $1200 on my last laptop, this is NOT out of the question.
    • Bigger Screens on tablets

      I look at hundreds of A4 documents everyday and landscape laptops don't let me see the whole page in one go so I have to waste valuable time scrolling.

      A tablet like the Asus Transformer book means that I can work away from my desktop anywhere in the world and have access to portrait mode on a windows machine and most of the specialised software that I use in Windows based.

      13.3 inches isn't too big at all.
    • Perfectly clear is it not?

      You need someone to make it clear for you what make sense?

      Mate, it is a laptop and it is a tablet. If you don't need or want one or the other, or if you just cannot afford one, you get something else. It is a new thing and as such, worth has nothing to do with the price tag. They know they got an awesome thing going, so why shouldn't they get some R&D money back. Demand will saturate and the price will eventually come down.
  • Well it does have plenty of storage space

    which is what most people are complaining about with the Surface Pro. The only real question is battery life. I think it not only needs to match the Surface Pro on battery life, but needs to exceed it to warrant the much higher price. And even then the most it can hope for is a comfortable niche.
    Michael Kelly
    • Keyboard contains an additional battery for double the battery life.

      This tablet/laptop hybrid is not overprice when you look at the specs. Surface Pro 128 MB is 999.99 plus another 125 or so for a keyboard. This hybrid is 128 MB and you get another 500 GB in the keyboard and another battery that the author of the story forgot to mention. You are paying an extra an extra $500 for a backlit keyboard that contains a HDD and another battery.
      • Hm...I hadn't considered that.

        mdg32774, you make a very good point in that those items you mentioned being left out of the above article are definite game-changers. Still, $1,479.99 is a bit steep, but much easier to justify when looking at it from your point of view. Thank you for clarifying things.

        Neil Wright
  • To the author

    You say "you also get a full version of Windows 8".

    That is a very ambiguous statement. Are you saying it comes with Windows 8 Pro as opposed to Windows 8, or are you saying it comes with Windows 8 (not Pro) as opposed to Windows RT?
    Michael Kelly
  • Asus Transformer Book Windows 8 hybrid tablet/laptop pops up for pre-order

    Another device is being released with Microsoft Windows 8 on it. For an OS that people claimed has failed it sure is showing up a lot. Back to this hardware, its got some really nice specs to it and you get a thin computing device. Its going to be a hard decision between this or the Microsoft Surface.
  • Don't Buy ASUS

    I bought an ASUS laptop and they didn't honor their warranty.

    The Helix offers up to 8-GIGS of RAM.

    Trying to run Windows with 4-GIGS of RAM is like trying to run a Fortune 500 company from the toilet of a Boeing 747.

    The Surface Pro is a big dud. It has a smaller screen, offers less RAM, and has significantly less storage.

    It seems as though M$ went out of their way to cripple RT and Pro.

    This is a company that can't do anything right!
    • Oh please

      Yet another individual who reads too much negative press, but has never used the device. Try using before commenting like you are an expert. Its obvious you have never even touched a Windows Surface Pro. I've had one for almost a week now (128GB) and its fantastic. The battery life sucks, but for what I do I don't need extended battery life for streaming live video all day. The system is very powerful in a very small light form factor. Windows 8 is solid, fast & smooth. yes a little getting used to, but change in this space is a good thing. For version 1.0 its a really good product. It can and will be improved, but to make comments as you have made is simply wrong and leads people down the wrong path. Surface Pro, like all tablets included iPad have their place. I think its a winner and will drive competition and as far as I can see that will make all products in this category for us customers better and less expensive in the long run. Please try using before commenting.
    • On The Right Track, BUT.....

      The design is well thought especially for my personal intended use, to use as a desktop PC with external monitor, keyboard, speakers, printer, scanner, dvd drive, tv tuner.
      This is my present setup with an older laptop and USB hubs.

      The clever design of the Transformer Book Hybrid has most ports in the Keyboard dock. I would need only to unplug the speakers and be good to go.

      The only drawback is the price and lack of ability to upgrade either the Ram or Video.

      That should be addressed in subsequent models.